Books Product Management

Product Management books

I’m often asked for a list of my favourite product management books, here’s my list of suggestions.

I’m going to note though that one of the issues I see with this list is a lot of it is written by white men, and those privileged. We as a product management community certainly need to do better to reflect and promote equity in our product learnings and writings and I’d love to hear from you if you have others you’d suggest I check out and read.

Here’s the list:

  • Inspired by Marty Cagan
  • Empowered by Marty Cagan & Chris Jones
  • Yes to the Mess by Frank J. Barrett
  • Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke
  • Product Management in Practice by Matt LeMay
  • Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi 
  • The Innovator’s Solution by Clay Christensen
  • The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clay Christensen
  • Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights by Steve Portigal
  • Practical Empathy by Indi Young
  • The Lean Product Playbook by Dan Olsen
  • Sprint by Jake Knapp
  • Build Better Products by Laura Klein
  • Burndown: A Better Way to Build Products by David Cancel and Matt Bilotti
  • Product Leadership by Richard Banfield
  • Product Roadmaps Relaunched by Todd C. Lombardo
  • Hooked by Nir Eyel
  • Escaping the Build Trap by Melissa Perri
  • Decisive by Chip & Dan Heath
  • My Product Management Toolkit by Mark Abraham
  • Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke
  • The Art of Product Management by Rich Mironov
  • Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss
  • Chop Wood Carry Water by Joshua Medcalf
  • Show & Tell by Dan Roam
  • Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam
  • Why Always Wins by Stephen Gay
  • Radical Candor by Kim Scott
  • Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen
  • The Team That Managed Itself by Christina Wodtke
  • Execute by Drew Wilson and Josh Long
  • Believe Me by Michael Margolis
  • Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
  • The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
  • The Jobs to Be Done Playbook by Jim Kalbach
  • Get Agile: Scrum for UX, Design, and Development by Pieter Jonerius et al.
  • Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug
  • Waiting for Your Cat to Bark by Bryan and Jeffrey Einseberg
  • Gamestorming by Dave Gray
  • Selling to the VP of No by Dave Gray

A few other resources that might fall into this category but not published formally in book format:

What’s next up on my reading list in 2021?

  • Strong Product People by Petra Willie
  • Outcomes Over Outputs by Joshua Seiden
  • Working Backwards by Colin Bryar and Bill Carr

Product Management

Product management podcasts

I often am asked for a list of my suggested product podcasts. So here it is — the full list I currently subscribe to.

As content varies per podcast, I don’t have particular favourites, so listen to what engages you and is relevant to your product learning and needs.


Get it done

We all have the same 24-hours. Some of us get it done, others don’t. Why the difference? Priorities. It might not be that I’m not “getting it done”, it could be that I’m not for the right reasons.

Information Architecture User Experience

IA toolkit

Great quote from Dave Gray (hat tip: Austin Kleon)

“Index cards and sticky notes operate like the playing cards, counters and other game components: they make it easy to sort, shuffle, arrange and rearrange information. Flip charts and whiteboards function like playing fields or game boards – they bring logic and order to a space, allowing it to serve as a base for exploring combinatorial possibilities.”

Web Analytics


…a curious person is one who explores first and then considers whether or not they want to accept the ramifications — Seth Godin


What makes a good boss according to Google

Google decided in 2009 to apply its prowess at technical research and analysis to find out what made great managers stand out from merely good or bad ones. It analyzed mountains of performance reviews, surveys, and other sources of information and submitted them to extensive crunching, pulling apart “more than 10,000 observations about managers—across more than 100 variables,” according to the paper. The main result was a list of “eight good behaviors.”

1. Be a good coach.
2. Empower your team and don’t micromanage.
3. Express interest in team members’ success and personal well-being.
4. Don’t be a sissy: Be productive and results-oriented.
5. Be a good communicator and listen to your team.
6. Help your employees with career development.
7. Have a clear vision and strategy for the team.
8. Have key technical skills so you can help advise the team.



Love, change

For the first time in a few years, change abounds. New opportunities, new people, new ways of working. Change is a friend not a foe and often signals opportunity more often than not. Each change seemingly a positive bit of momentum towards something better.


Art or business?

Jill Magid, the artist, reframing a situation:

In 2002, as an artist in residence at the Rijksakademie, in Amsterdam, Magid began noticing the large number of surveillance cameras in the city—anonymous gray boxes, mounted on everything from the corners of buildings to coffee-shop awnings. One February morning, she went to the police headquarters and explained that she was an artist interested in decorating the municipal cameras with rhinestones. She was directed to the appropriate police administrators, who told her that they did not work with artists. She thanked them and left. A few weeks later, Magid returned, armed with business cards and a corporate-speak sales pitch, presenting herself as the Head Security Ornamentation Professional at System Azure, a company that she had made up. The police not only allowed her to bedazzle the cameras but even paid her a couple of thousand dollars. “I realized that they could not hear me when I spoke as an artist,” Magid later said. “This had nothing to do with what I proposed but with who I was.”

Source: The New Yorker

Creativity Miscellany

The mind of an architect

In the early 1950s, the Institute of Personality Assessment and Research (IPAR) at the University of California, Berkeley began developing new and different ways to analyze personalities. The scientists at IPAR attempted what many thought was impossible: to study creativity in a methodical and scientific way, working to determine what specific personality traits make certain people creative.

IPAR found that creative people tend to be nonconforming, interesting, interested, independent, courageous and self-centered, at least in general. Creatives could make unexpected connections and see patterns in daily life, even those lacking high intelligence or good grades.



Time capsule

In 2012, Russian workers repairing a statue of Lenin unearthed a time capsule with a letter from a Soviet youth group from 1979. It reads, in part: ‘‘Let your character be courageous. Let your songs be happier. Let your love be hotter. We do not feel sorry for ourselves, because we are certain you will be better than us.’’

— Source: NYTimes